Eagles' new era brought down to earth

RUGBY LEAGUE: Manly's new era under new coach Trent Barrett got off to a shaky start in front of a big home crowd, losing 28-6 to Canterbury at Brookvale Oval.

An error-riddled first half saw the Sea Eagles trail 22-0 at the break, and from there they never recovered.

Manly made a costly five first-half errors, including two in their own in-goal which led to Bulldogs tries to Will Hopoate in the 16th minute, and Josh Morris in the 35th.

Lewis Brown and Brayden Wiliame unforgivably had air swings on both occasions, instead of simply grounding the ball and conceding dropouts.

Sam Perrett (12th minute) and Sam Kasiano (28th) scored the other first-half tries from a set play and a crash-over, respectively.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, were highly impressive, with $3 million halfback Moses Mbye playing a part in two first-half tries.

Canterbury's forward pack also regularly tested the Manly defence, James Graham, Aiden Tolman and Josh Jackson leading the way, with the Sea Eagles showing fatigue early due to the relentless pressure.

Bulldogs and New South Wales five-eighth Josh Reynolds looked like he could be back to his best, assisting two tries in the first 40 minutes.

Manly looked every bit a team still settling on new combinations after a much-hyped clean-out over the off-season.

The host team did bounce back with a brilliant juggling try to Jorge Taufua with 15 minutes to go.

But the Bulldogs put the result to bed after try-machine winger Curtis Rona crossed with six minutes left.

BULLDOGS 28 (S Perrett, W Hopoate, S Kasiano, J Morris, C Rona tries; M Mbye 4 goals) def SEA EAGLES 6 (J Taufua try; J Lyon goal). Crowd: 16,512 at Brookvale Oval.


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